Quetta (Pakistan), Mar.15 (ANI): A mysterious insurgent group has said that it is ready to trade John Solecki, the American chief of the U.N. refugee office for the 1,100 people who have gone missing since 2000.
They have said that they are a ready to exchange Solecki for missing Pakistani tailor Ali Asghar Bangulzai and others.
In Baluchistan, Solecki's kidnapping appears to reflect growing nationalist sentiment among ethnic Baluch tribes, for whom the connection to militant Islam remains murky.
Bangulzai was picked up on October 18, 2001, from his shop on Quetta's Saryab Road, a bustling commercial street where walls of graffiti display slogans such as "Death to Pakistan," and "Free Baluchistan."
Bangulzai's son, Ghulam Farooq, suspects military intelligence is involved because his father was picked up once before, in the spring of 2000.
"When he came back, he told us he was held by [military intelligence] in a torture cell in Quetta city, where he wouldn't be allowed to sleep and was repeatedly asked about his involvement with nationalist parties," Farooq said.
When The Washington Times contacted the deputy inspector general of the police department in Quetta, he refused to discuss Solecki's disappearance or other missing people, saying it was a very sensitive time.
Besides Mr. Bangulzai, the list of those said to have "disappeared" by the Baluch Liberation United Front includes laborers reportedly picked up from Chaman - a border town between Quetta and Kandahar in southern Afghanistan - government workers, students, tribal elders and political workers affiliated with the Baluch Republican Party. (ANI)